In late 1941, the war had come home to Hancock County, Indiana. As hundreds of men and women joined the war effort, a quiet effort to record those who were serving was happening behind the scenes. Photos of those in service were provided by families and loved ones to be displayed, publicly, for all to see. The photos were mounted into glass framed panels and displayed, we are told, on the courthouse lawn. No pictures of the courthouse lawn with the framed panels exists, that we are aware of, but the panels themselves survived.
Unknown, hidden, lying patiently in the basement of the Hancock County Memorial Building, fourteen panels have been discovered and their treasures are being conserved in an effort led by Jim McWhinney. The panels are being carefully opened and the photos removed and secured in archival storage. As photos are removed, they are carefully cataloged and scanned with the intent that one day, they would once again be displayed in a place of honor.
Nearly one thousand photos, nearly one thousand names, and without a doubt more than one thousand memories.
Forgive our website's bare bones, we are working diligently to get all the photos scanned and preserved before they suffer any further damage. The photos have endured much sun and water damage, and are in a very fragile condition. Most would not last a month in a photo album, or a day being handled.
As they are saved, we will post scanned copies here, organized by the panel they are removed from. As we move farther along with the project we will provide both the scanned pictures you see here, and also high resolution copies for printing as well. The website will grow, and gain a bit of beautification as well.
So please take a moment, click on the links above labeled "Panel" and view what we have completed so far. Soon, we will associate a name with each and every picture.We have plans to do more including returning new copies of the photos to their original display. Stay tuned as we go through the process.
We do this, so they will not be forgotten.